Expedition 64 Trio Back On Earth After 185-Day Mission

The Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft just before landing in Kazakhstan on April 17th, 2021. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos landed on Earth at 12:55 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 17 in Kazakhstan. The trio departed the International Space Station in their Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft at 9:34 p.m.

After post-landing medical checks, the crew will split up with Rubins returning to her home in Houston, while the cosmonauts fly back to their training base in Star City, Russia.

Remaining aboard the station is the seven-person crew of Expedition 65, with new station commander Shannon Walker of NASA, NASA astronauts Victor GloverMichael Hopkins, and Mark Vande Hei, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.

Later this month, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 members – NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet – will join the Expedition 65 members aboard the station. Crew-2 will be the second long-duration mission to fly as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, continuing to provide the capability of regularly launching humans from American soil.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed a 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique technological demonstrations and research that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars while also improving life on Earth. To date, 243 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory that has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

SpaceX Crew Ship Moves to New Station Port

The SpaceX Crew Dragon is pictured after undocking from the forward port on the Harmony module beginning its short trip to the space-facing port. Credit: NASA TV

Crew Dragon Resilience with NASA astronauts Michael HopkinsVictor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, have re-docked to the International Space Station, another first for a commercial crew spacecraft.

Crew Dragon autonomously undocked from the forward port of the station’s Harmony module at 6:30 a.m. and relocated to the space-facing port at 7:08 a.m.

This is the start of a process that will enable extraction of new solar arrays from the SpaceX CRS-22 cargo mission’s trunk when it arrives to dock at the Node 2 zenith port following Crew-1 departure.

NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and  Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Aki Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet are scheduled to launch to the station Thursday, April 22, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Following a short handover, Crew-1 NASA astronauts Michael HopkinsVictor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, plan to return home off the coast of Florida about five days after the Crew-2 arrival to the space station as long as mission priorities and weather cooperate.

NASA TV Back on Air for Soyuz Crew Landing Coverage

The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship is pictured relocating from the Rassvet module to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module on Sept. 28, 2021.
The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship is pictured relocating from the Rassvet module to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module on Sept. 28, 2021.

NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app are now broadcasting live coverage of the return to Earth of a trio of Russian spacefarers.

The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Russian actress Yulia Peresild and Russian producer-director Klim Shipenko will make its deorbit burn at 11:41 p.m. EDT to set the spaceship on its re-entry through Earth’s atmosphere for a landing in Kazakhstan at 12:35 a.m. (10:35 a.m. Kazakhstan time) Sunday, October 17.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Russian Trio Nears Departure, Rest of Crew Busy with Research, Lab Upkeep

The ten station inhabitants are gathered together in the Unity module for a meal and a portrait. In the front row (from left) are, Mark Vande Hei, Klim Shipenko, Pyotr Dubrov, and Megan McArthur. In the back row (from left) are, Akihiko Hoshide, Anton Shkaplerov, Thomas Pesquet, Yulia Peresild, Oleg Novitskiy, and Shane Kimbrough.
The ten station inhabitants are gathered together in the Unity module for a meal and a portrait. In the front row (from left) are, Mark Vande Hei, Klim Shipenko, Pyotr Dubrov, and Megan McArthur. In the back row (from left) are, Akihiko Hoshide, Anton Shkaplerov, Thomas Pesquet, Yulia Peresild, Oleg Novitskiy, and Shane Kimbrough.

A veteran cosmonaut will soon lead two Russian spaceflight participants on a ride through Earth’s atmosphere to a parachuted landing in Kazakhstan this weekend. Meanwhile, the rest of the Expedition 65 crew stayed focused on a multitude of science, cargo, and maintenance activities throughout Thursday.

Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy will complete his third station mission when he undocks from the Nauka multipurpose laboratory on Saturday at 9:14 p.m. EDT inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship. He, with the station’s two filmmaking guests Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko riding alongside him, will touchdown on the Kazakh steppe on Sunday at 12:36 a.m. (10:36 a.m. Kazakh time).

Novitskiy has been packing the Soyuz spacecraft for several days with station hardware, science samples and personal items. He has also been practicing Soyuz descent techniques and training for the departure maneuvers on a Russian computer. The three-time station resident, with assistance from cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov, has also been testing a specialized suit, the lower body negative pressure suit, that may help his body adjust quickly to Earth’s gravity after 191 days in space.

The station’s three NASA flight engineers had their hands full today with a host of research and lab upkeep activities in the orbiting lab’s U.S. segment. Megan McArthur swapped fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack then performed simulated robotic tasks for a cognition test. Shane Kimbrough had some light plumbing duties during the morning before continuing cargo work inside the Cygnus space freighter. Mark Vande Hei, who is staying on the station for nearly a year, filmed a video about safety in space for students on Earth then worked on life support and networking gear.

The two international astronauts, Thomas Pesquet and Akihiko Hoshide, spent some time in their respective modules, Europe’s Columbus laboratory and Japan’s Kibo laboratory, ensuring smooth lab operations. Pesquet, of ESA (European Space Agency), serviced a variety of science freezers inside Columbus. Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) reorganized stowage space inside Kibo making room for new science gear soon to be delivered on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission.

Over in the station’s Russian segment, Roscosmos Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov worked on an exercise study and dismantled a radiation detector. Dubrov downloaded and checked radiation data then configured radiation sensors, or dosimeters.

Russian Soyuz Crew Docks to Station, Hatches Open Soon

Five spaceships are parked at the space station including Northrop Grumman's Cygnus space freighter; the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle; and Russia's Soyuz MS-18 and MS-19 crew ships and ISS Progress 78 resupply ship.
Five spaceships are parked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter; the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle; and Russia’s Soyuz MS-18 and MS-19 crew ships and ISS Progress 78 resupply ship.

The Soyuz spacecraft carrying Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko docked to the International Space Station at 8:22 a.m. EDT while both spacecraft were flying about 260 miles above Earth to the north of the Philippine islands.

When the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened following standard pressurization and leak checks, the trio will join Expedition 65 Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Mark Vande HeiShane Kimbrough and Megan McArthurAki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.

Watch the hatch opening on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app beginning at 9:30 a.m. for hatch opening targeted for about 10 a.m.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Cargo Dragon Undocking Live on NASA TV

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle approaches the International Space Station for an autonomous docking to the Harmony module's forward international docking adapter
The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle approaches the International Space Station for an autonomous docking to the Harmony module’s forward international docking adapter on Aug. 30, 2021.

NASA Television coverage is underway for departure of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft from the International Space Station. The spacecraft is scheduled for automated release at 9:12 a.m. EDT.

Ground controllers at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, will command Dragon to undock from the forward port on the station’s Harmony module. After firing its thrusters to move a safe distance away from the station, Dragon will execute a deorbit burn to leave orbit as it heads for a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida around 11 p.m.

Dragon launched on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Aug. 29 from Space Launch Complex 39A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and arrived at the station the following day with more than 4,800 pounds of science, supplies and cargo on SpaceX’s 23rd commercial resupply mission to the station for NASA.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, on Twitter @Space_Station and @ISS_Research, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Soyuz Crew Ship Docks to New Science Module Port

The International Space Station configuration as of Sept. 28, 2021 with the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.
The International Space Station configuration as of Sept. 28, 2021, with the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft that first launched and arrived to the International Space Station April 9 has now successfully relocated with its crew aboard from the station’s Earth-facing Rassvet module to the “Nauka” Multipurpose Laboratory Module. The spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy, commander of the Soyuz, and Pyotr Dubrov along with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, docked at 9:04 a.m. EDT.

It is the first time a spacecraft has attached to the new Nauka module, which arrived at the station in July, and is the 20th Soyuz port relocation in station history and the first since March 2021.

The relocation frees the Rassvet port for the arrival October 5 of another Soyuz spacecraft, designated Soyuz MS-19, which will carry Soyuz commander and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild.

Vande Hei and Dubrov are scheduled to remain aboard the station until March 2022. At the time of his return, Vande Hei will have set the record for the longest single spaceflight for an American. Novitskiy, Shipenko, and Peresild are scheduled to return to Earth in October aboard the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft.

For more than 20 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. As a global endeavor, 244 people from 19 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 3,000 research and educational investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

International Astronauts Begin Spacewalk to Modify Station’s Power System

Astronauts (from left) Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet are pictured outside of the space station with their U.S. spacesuit helmet visors up during earlier spacewalks.
Astronauts (from left) Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet are pictured outside of the space station with their U.S. spacesuit helmet visors up during earlier spacewalks.

Astronauts Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) have begun the first International Space Station spacewalk conducted by two international partner astronauts out of the station’s Quest airlock.

The spacewalkers switched their spacesuits to battery power at 8:15 a.m. EDT to begin the spacewalk, which is expected to last about six and a half hours.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Hoshide is extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing a spacesuit bearing red stripes and using helmet camera #22. Pesquet is extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the unmarked spacesuit and helmet camera #20.

The spacewalkers will begin by working together to build the upper bracket of the modification kit then installing first the left strut followed by the right strut to the mast canister, the base, of one of the solar arrays on the port side of the station’s backbone truss structure. The support bracket will enable future installation of a third of six new International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs) to upgrade one of the station’s eight power channels. Known as 4A, the channel provides partial power to the U.S. Laboratory, the Harmony module, and the Columbus module.

This is the fourth spacewalk for Hoshide, the sixth spacewalk for Pesquet, and the station’s 244th spacewalk in support of assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.

Learn more about station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Cosmonauts Wrap Up Second Spacewalk to Set Up Science Module

Russian spacewalkers (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov work over 250 miles above the Earth to configure the Nauka multipurpose laboratory for science operations. Credit: NASA TV
Russian spacewalkers (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov work over 250 miles above the Earth to configure the Nauka multipurpose laboratory for science operations. Credit: NASA TV

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos concluded their spacewalk at 6:16 p.m. EDT after 7 hours and 25 minutes. It was the second of up to 11 spacewalks to prepare the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for operations in space.

Novitskiy and Dubrov finished connecting television, rendezvous system and ethernet cables to the recently arrived Nauka module. They also installed handrails, jettisoned a cable reel, and installed a biology experiment on the Poisk module.

This was the 11th spacewalk this year and the 243rd overall in support of space station assembly, maintenance and upgrades. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 63 days and 23 hours working outside the station.

It is the third spacewalk for both cosmonauts, both of whom have now spent a total of 22 hours and 38 minutes spacewalking.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed its 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technological demonstrations that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and also improve life on Earth. In that time, 244 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory that has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

Learn more about station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Cosmonauts Conclude First Spacewalk To Ready New Module

Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov during a spacewalk to connect power and ethernet cables to the Nauka laboratory module.
Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov during a spacewalk to connect power and ethernet cables to the Nauka laboratory module.

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos concluded their spacewalk at 6:35 p.m. EDT after 7 hours and 54 minutes. It is the first of up to 11 spacewalks to prepare the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for operations in space.

Novitskiy and Dubrov completed the major objective for today to connect power cables between the recently arrived Nauka module and the Zarya module to enable the routing of electricity from the U.S. segment of the station to Nauka. Checkouts of the two electrical power cable systems from Zarya to Nauka were successful. They also partially installed one new handrail.

Tasks deferred to a future spacewalk are to install two additional handrails to enable spacewalkers to maneuver to and about Nauka more easily, make the final connection for the ethernet cable the duo partially routed today, deploy a science investigation, jettison the ethernet cable reel following the completion of the connection, and take imagery of the Russian segment of the station.

The duo will continue work during a second spacewalk on Thursday, Sept. 9; coverage on NASA Television, the NASA app, and agency’s website will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the spacewalk expected to begin about 11 a.m. and last about five hours.

This was the 10th spacewalk this year and the 242nd overall in support of space station assembly, maintenance and upgrades. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 63 days, 15 hours, and 35 minutes working outside the station.

It is the second spacewalk for both cosmonauts, both of whom have now spent a total of 15 hours and 13 minutes spacewalking.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed its 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technological demonstrations that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and also improve life on Earth. In that time, 244 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory that has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.